Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Ireen Kanjala
When a Volunteer is placed in a new environment, with new faces, it is not shocking to feel alone in places full of unfamiliar people. As days go by, the connections that we build with community members and other organizations working in our placement communities help us integrate more easily into our communities. I was lucky to be placed in a community that had already established a relationship, with not only one but two partner organizations; Child Legacy International and Centre for Concerned Youth in Development.
Child Legacy International (CLI) is an organization located in my community with a mission to build sustainable communities to end poverty. The organization has over 200 employees from the surrounding area who bring back the methods learnt from CLI to develop their own communities. The organization’s hospital provides free healthcare on routine vaccinations, child labor and delivery, as well as surgical procedures. It also aims at increasing accessibility to safe water by repairing broken boreholes for communities in need. I have worked with CLI on community projects like afforestation, Grassroot Soccer interventions, and school health and nutrition.
Centre for Concerned Youth in Development (CECOYD) is a local organization working in my community to facilitate sustainable and positive change among the youth through the use of locally available resources. I started working with this organization during my second month of service, after I was introduced at one of the weekly youth club meetings by one of my primary school students. The organization equips the youth with vast knowledge to empower them socially and economically. They also offer needy youth an opportunity to go to school by providing them with school necessities such as fees, writing materials, and groceries. I recently implemented a Grassroot Soccer intervention with the help of CECOYD, and we also work together to facilitate youth club weekly meetings.
These organizations did not only help me to build relationships with my community members, but they have also helped me grow personally and professionally. I appreciate the help from my community partner organizations and I am looking forward to working on more community developmental projects with them for the remainder of my service as a CorpsAfrica Volunteer.